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Self-Care for Fall


We are officially in Fall! Self-care for this time of year should include staying warm, paying special attention to your skin, consuming nourishing food and herbs, and following a schedule.

Stay Warm

As the weather begins to get colder, especially at night and early morning, your body is trying to protect itself from heat loss. Less blood is flowing to the skin, arms and legs, because it's moving to the core. So put on extra clothing, especially around the core, such as a sweater or sweatshirt.

Skin Care

Since blood is moving to the core, it can cause dry, dull skin, which could benefit from exfoliation. Exfoliation can perk up your skin color and clarity, unclog follicles and pores, allow your skin to breath better, allow moisturizers and oils to penetrate better, improve skin texture, stimulate your skin's overall function, and increase circulation. To make your own exfoliation product, follow the recipe below.

Exfoliation Recipe - In a blender add: ½ cup of grains, such as oatmeal or cornmeal, 2 tbls. of dried herbs, such as chamomile, calendula, roses or lavender, and 2 tbls. of nuts or seeds. Optional: use a tbl. of salt or sugar; but not if you’re using the scrub on your face. Blend the ingredients until you have a powder. Pour the powder into a bowl and add in 1 cup of white kaolin clay and mix thoroughly. Store the mixture in a mason jar and label.

When you’re ready to use the scrub, add 1-2 tbls. of the powder into a small bowl and add in 2-3 tbls. of liquid, such as water, oil, milk, cream, honey, avocado oil or coconut oil. Blend with a spoon until it forms a paste. Apply the scrub to your wet skin - (I do this in the shower). Massage the scrub into your skin and rinse with warm water. Pat your skin dry.


The next step is to massage oil into the skin to help it regain its luster. For dry, dull skin, use sesame oil, jojoba oil or neem oil. For thin, delicate, and aged skin, try sesame oil or olive oil; and for sun-damaged skin, rashes or eruptions, try coconut oil or neem oil. If your skin is a combination, then blend different oils together. For best results, try exfoliating your skin once a week.


Foods & Herbs

Foods to add to your diet include cooked apples, ghee, butternut squash, sweet potato, beets, and almonds. Warming spices, such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, black pepper, and ginger are great to add to food and drinks. Stay tuned for a few recipes over the coming weeks. Drinks, such as Chai are wonderfully nurturing, see my article "Mmmmmmmm - Chai!" for a recipe.

Have a Schedule

Finally, be sure to stick to a schedule, i.e., eat meals at the same time every day, and go to bed at the same time each night. As we get into the holiday season, people spend a lot of time socializing, eating, and drinking too much. This frenzied energy is a lot of fun, but don't overdo it. Be sure to get some rest and relaxation to help your body prepare for Winter.


Resources:

Gladstar, R., Family Herbal, A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality, Storey Books, North Adams, MA, 2001.

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